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Trophoblast L-Selectin-Mediated Adhesion at the Maternal-Fetal Interface

Science  17 Jan 2003:
Vol. 299, Issue 5605, pp. 405-408
DOI: 10.1126/science.1079546

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Abstract

Trophoblast adhesion to the uterine wall is the requisite first step of implantation and, subsequently, placentation. At the maternal-fetal interface, we investigated the expression of selectin adhesion systems that enable leukocyte capture from the bloodstream. On the maternal side, human uterine epithelial cells up-regulated selectin oligosaccharide-based ligands during the window of receptivity. On the fetal side, human trophoblasts expressed L-selectin. This ligand-receptor system was functional, because beads coated with the selectin ligand 6-sulfo sLex bound to trophoblasts, and trophoblasts bound to ligand-expressing uterine luminal epithelium in tissue sections. These results suggest that trophoblast L-selectin mediates interactions with the uterus and that this adhesion mechanism may be critical to establishing human pregnancy.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: sfisher{at}cgl.ucsf.edu

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